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Cable Ship Levant II

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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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Joined: 22 Apr 2010
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    Posted: 08 Mar 2011 at 19:51

CS LEVANT II

 
Built 1904 by George Brown and Co., Greenock. Single screw. Compound engine.

Length 138.6 ft., Breadth 21.6 ft., Depth 11.3 ft., Gross tonnage 283.

Levant II was purchased on the stocks while being built as a trawler, and was fitted out for cable work by the addition of twin bow sheaves and a simple cable winch mounted on the upper deck. A large hold was used for stowing cable, no cable tank being fitted.

The ship took part in the Dardanelles campaign of World War I and received a mention in dispatches. Her master was decorated for laying a cable from Imbros to Suvla within a few hours of the first troop landings.

In 1929 the ship was transferred to Imperial and International Communications Limited (later Cable & Wireless) and remained in cable service until 1935, although she was laid up in Malta from 1930-35.

Levant II was sold to W.J. Parnis of Valletta (Malta) in 1935 and renamed Major William. Sold again in 1938 to Mrs H.M.B. Williams and renamed Orange, and once more in 1941 to the Soc. Marseillaise de Trav. and renamed Eissero.

The ship is reported to have been broken up in 1952, but site visitor Emi Farrugia notes that while en route to be scuttled in the spoil ground some three miles off Grand Harbour, Malta, the ship started taking on water and sank further in towards the shore, about one kilometre off Grand Harbour.

Emi found the wreck in 1999 and believes it to be the Levant II without any doubt. From measurements of the wreck the length and beam match exactly; it has the cable drum up front as in the picture, and on one of the brass fittings there was the name  Brown & Co and a date of 1911. The wreck lies in approximately 60 meters depth of water pretty much intact.

CABLE WORK

1915 Imbros to Suvla
1916 Lemnos/Salonika assisted by CS Electra (1)
1920 Syra/Tenedos assisted by CS Sentinel (1)

Cable Laying Tasks carried out by the CS Levant II at Gallipoli.

 
1915 Dardanelles Campaign:- Imbros - Nibrunesi Point, Gallipoli: Allied Military Levant II Shore end destoyed prior to evacuation
1915 Dardanelles Campaign:- Tenedos - 'W' Beach, Helles, Gallipoli Allied Military Levant II The Eastern Telegraph Co cable Tenedos - Constantinople was cut and diverted to 'W' Beach where ETC staff set up a cable station. Cable became operational on 29th April. Shore end destroyed prior to evacuation.
1915 Dardanelles Campaign Allied Military Levant II Cables which had been laid for the Italian-Turkish war of 1911 and then abandoned were recovered and brought into service. Routes unknown.
1915 Dardanelles Campaign:- Suvla Point - Nibrunesi Point (Across Suvla Bay) Allied Military Levant II 3 D5 cables laid in preparation for the evacuation of Suvla Bay and Anzac Cove. Shore ends subsequently destoyed.
1915 Dardanelles Campaign:- Nibrunesi Point - Corps HQ on board HMS Peony Allied Military Levant II Laid in preperation for the evacuation of Suvla Bay and Anzac Cove.
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